Here are the most common blepharitis symptoms (2):
- burning sensation
- red eyes
- blurred vision
- missing eyelashes
- sensitivity to light
- sticking eyelids
- flakes or scales around the base of the eyelashes
- hard crusts around the eyelashes
- inflammation of eye tissue (especially the cornea)
To help treat some of these symptoms, try one of these natural blepharitis home remedies:
1. Use a Warm CompressA warm compress will help soothe the inflamed eyelid and remove built-up crust from the lid and lashes. It’ll also help bring blood flow to the eyelid, which helps accelerate healing. Use a clean washcloth. Wet it with warm water, wring it out, and place it over the affected eye for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this three times every day. If it doesn’t remove the dry flakes, use a clean cotton pad with water and a gentle shampoo, like baby shampoo to massage the area and moisten the flakes. When eyelashes are dry, use a cotton swab to remove the flakes. Repeat this process every day until the crust or flakes stop developing. (3) Be sure to use as gentle motions as possible when massaging your eyes with baby shampoo. Don't force the flakes from your eyes with abrasive measures. This will worsen the irritation and pain. Furthermore, only use a small amount of shampoo, just enough to remove the flakes. You don't want to overwhelm your eye with a foreign substance.
2. Try Black TeaBlack tea has anti-inflammatory activities, which makes it a great remedy for blepharitis symptoms. In fact, research suggests black tea has certain compounds that inhibit the growth of bacteria. (4) Place the black teabag in boiling water to get it to steep. After it cools, squeeze to remove the water and place it on your closed eyelid. Let it rest there for 10 minutes then throw it away. This method also works great for eyes that are puffy due to poor sleep or itchy, inflamed eyes due to allergies.
3. Use Tea Tree OilTea tree oil, which has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antimicrobial effects, is a great blepharitis treatment. It kills demodex mites that infest the eyelids. Furthermore, it can soothe dry, flaky skin and remove dandruff. (5) One study from 2012, in fact, found that eyelid scrubbing with tea tree oil for one month significantly reduced the demodex mite count in patients with blepharitis. (6) And a subsequent study in 2018 concluded that shampoo with tea tree oil is three times more effective than without. (7) However, tea tree oil tends to be on the strong side. It can irritate some people’s skin. With that in mind, you want to be particularily careful applying it to sensitive areas such as the eyes. To avoid irritation, try cutting the tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Add 2 or 3 of tea tree oil and half a teaspoon of coconut oil to a clean cotton pad. Apply it to the affected area.
4. Avoid Wearing Eye Makeup and Contact LensesUsing eye makeup and contact lenses makes proper eyelid hygiene more difficult and can delay the healing process. Until blepharitis is treated, stop wearing eye makeup and use your eyeglasses instead of contact lenses. In fact, it’s a good idea to wear a fresh pair of contact lenses once the infection has healed because the old pair might be contaminated with bacteria. (8) Also be wary of using foundation or cover-up; if you wear it, be sure to avoid using it around your eyes.
5. Treat DandruffDandruff from your scalp causes redness and flaking that can spread and cause blepharitis. To treat dandruff, you can use natural remedies such as coconut oil, essential oils, probiotics, and omega 3 fatty acids. One study found lemongrass essential oil particularly effective. (9) Additionally, you can make your own anti-dandruff shampoo right at home. This recipe is chock-full of hair-healthy ingredients that will be sure to leave your hair healthy and dandruff-free, which will help prevent blepharitis.
6. Eat Anti-Inflammatory FoodsReducing inflammation can help improve blepharitis symptoms. It can also help conditions associated with blepharitis, like rosacea. (10) The best foods for healing blepharitis include: (11)
- Omega-3 foods: Eating chia seeds, flax seeds and walnuts helps to reduce inflammation. They will also boost the immune system so that it can react suitably to bacteria and mites.
- Organic fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables contain anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. They also provide important eye vitamins, such as A,C, And E.
- Healthy fats: Eating foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut oil and olive oil can help reduce inflammation and help to heal the skin.